< Upheaval: March 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I'm a big kid now...

On American Idol, why does Paula Abdul clap her hands with her fingers spread widely apart? Stop what you are doing, fan your fingers out big and clap your hands together. Don't you feel like a three year-old?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

She is sweetness rolled up in chubbiness. She is my dear neice, who looks exactly like her momma and her daddy. She is a princess in pink, but always looks ravishing in anything she wears.

I want to share these pictures with you, because, doesn't she have arms like a Shar Pei?

I love you, Bella!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Comments and a post

I have been shopping around. Really. I am tired of the heartbreak. Surely there is a better way to blog. WHAT IS IT? Um, it is NOT Blog-City. The templates are fugly.

Because I cannot make comments work, I would like to say:

1) Melinda - is that your cleavage and mammary in that picture?

2) Jessica - I really like the smell of nail salons. yum!

3) Eddie - James Patterson usually writes suspense novels, but he has done a couple of interesting sappy ones. I think that the person who commented about The Notebook was thinking of Nicholas Sparks. He is good as well. I usually like books better than movies. I am impressed that you are man enough to cry and then tell about it!

4) Michelle - that is great for Amanda! Is she excited? I want a lot of boys! (that isn't what it sounds like, readers!)

5) Other Amanda from Longview - I still can't read your blog from home. Is it netscape? Any ideas? I can't use Explorer. It has a virus, I think.


I would like to say that Daniel and I had a "moment" in bed the other day. (Get your mind out of the gutter - that other stuff is PRIVATE, and you know how I am about PRIVATE stuff...)

We were laying there, gazing into each other's eyes, when all of a sudden, he said his teeth were sharper than mine. Guys, I have some really sharp eyeteeth. I said "whatever!" then we spent the next two minutes with our fingers in each other's mouths to see who had the sharper teeth. Is that romantic or what?

Monday, March 28, 2005


I have sciatica! It is driving me crazy! I cannot deal with chronic pain! It has been over a month! Do I get to do this for the rest of my life?!

Because of the afore-mentioned affliction, I purchased what is known as a "body pillow" this weekend. That means that there is no longer room for my husband in the bed with me. Instead of five little pillows supporting parts of my body, I now have a pillow that is the size of a Ford Focus. Except that it has a red velvet pillow case. And it is softer.

I would awaken in the middle of the night, climb to the top of the pillow, and peer over to see Daniel, clinging desperately to the edge of the mattress. He is a big guy, but he was easily over-classed by the pillow.

So far, it hasn't helped my sciatica, but I have had some pretty wild dreams involving giant tootsie rolls.

Friday, March 25, 2005

It's your turn

Every once in a while, I will throw a bone to my friend Jes, who faithfully reads my blog even though, apparently, she can't find anything interesting in it to comment on. (See previous post.)

These are things that I have discovered I cannot talk to Jessica about:

1) some game called

2) moving to
Texas from Minnesota, because I am already here.

3) my job, because she doesn't have anything to say about that.

In a recent run of comments, I mentioned on her
site that SOMETIMES, as an ADDED BONUS, Daniel and I barter for sex. We have been married for two years. He is my soulmate. He is hilarious. We have a great time together! We are a compatible match, much like something from an E-Harmony commercial, but uncannily, we met in person. And we sometimes barter for sex.

This is not shameful! Daniel and I went through ten weeks of premarital counseling, and we would go again if it ever became neccessary.

I want Daniel to use his nice, expensive grill to cook for me. He wants to have sex. So we have worked out an even trade. We are both happy. And, this does not comprise the main part of our "relations." It is dessert.

Now, what do you think of that?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A shot in the heart

I love my babies. Every year, I fall in love with them. I love to hold their fat, grubby hands. I love to listen to their stories-that-make-no-sense. I love to anticipate their answers, only to hear something SO off the wall. I love to hear them accidentally call me "Mama" or "Nanna," and then I love to watch them turn red when they realize that they did that.

Because of my disproportionate affection for my students, today was HARD! It was the free immunization clinic at my school. Now, first, a little background. Public pre-k in Texas is grant funded. Not all kids can go - you usually have to qualify either by 1) speaking a language other than English primarily in the home or 2) being financially challenged. So, to put it bluntly, a free immunization clinic is RIGHT UP THEIR ALLEY. Fortunately, I only had a few who even needed immunizations. Unfortunately, I had to take those few to get their shots.

I have known about this for several days. I have had knots in my stomach, heartburn, insomnia, bad dreams, and severe anxiety. Last night, I went to the dollar store in search of an appropriate peace offering. I knew these boys would be so mad at me. I finally bought a few metal toy cars and came home to immerse myself in my misery.

This morning, my boys were so happy. They were so glad to go on a special trip with me. Each one held one of my hands, and one of them swung the bag from the dollar store.

"Where are we going?" and "What is in your bag?" were the topics of conversation on our short walk to the nurse's office. I sat them down once we got there and told them what we were going to do. They were so excited about picking out a car from my bag that I don't think they heard me. Each one took a turn sitting in my lap. I hugged them and buried my face in their little necks while the nurse prepped their arms. My hands were shaking and my stomach hurt. I didn't want to see my babies hurt!

Well, I am a sucker. They did great - not a single tear between the two of them, and one of them had to get three shots in a row. They got their cars, AND candy from the nurses, and TONS of sympathy from me, and they ran out to the playground punching each other in the arm to prove how tough they were.

At the conclusion of this emotional event, I meekly took a piece of candy from the nurses' dish and went to my classroom to lie down. I felt like I had gotten the shots! Can you imagine me with my own children?

Monday, March 21, 2005

A hint from me to you

Start wearing maternity clothes now. Even if you are not pregnant. Even if you are a man.

That way, when you are pregnant, wearing maternity clothes will not be traumatizing. Walking down the hall today has involved coos and giggles from my well-meaning coworkers who think this tent-shirt is "soooooo cute" and "oooooh-look-at-her-little-tummy!"

I just don't like attention THAT MUCH from people, so I have had a cute shirt, little tummy, and flaming red face all day because I am embarrassed. Gaining huge amounts of weight and making your body ill-proportioned is disturbing enough. Let's not compound the issue with commentary.

(to those persons who might misinterpret - i am eternally blessed to be the growing place for this baby. i am just giving you a fashion warning.)

Friday, March 18, 2005

To whom it may concern

Dear Blogger,

Today is my day off of work. I took off so I can get a massage and spend time with my husband and price things for our garage sale. How irritating is it that I spent 10 minutes of my day off creating a post for my friends to read, only to have it deleted instantly when I tried to post it? (It was even funny - about applesauce!)

Please remedy the situation. I tend to check my friend's pages frequently when I have notmuchtodo, so I am sure to be anxious today if I am dealing with problems online. This will only make my massage more deserved, I know, but I prefer to reduce stress in my life.

Thank you for your concern and attention,


Am I ever!

Last night, I was preparing dinner and talking with my sweetheart. He watched me as I stuck a rather large spatula into a jar to get the rest of the applesauce out. It fit into the neck of the jar (barely) and scraped the sides of the jar (nicely). When I tried to pull the spatula out, of course it wouldn't come, so I yanked it really hard and applesauce flew all over the place, making my effort a giant waste of time.

My sweetest took one look and me and said, "You should be so glad that I don't keep a blog..."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Coughers and fakers

This change of weather has aggravated some coughing reflex in the lungs of some of my students. The other ones are just faking. Sincere coughers (SC) turn red in the face and gasp for a breath. They try hard to speak, only to be overtaken by the sheer force of their expelled air. I become very concerned about my SCs, offering them drinks of water from the water fountain and letting them sit up for a minute during naptime, because laying down also aggravates the cough.

It never fails that, once an SC has been identified and sympathized with, a chorus of fakers begins their act. Fakers take a huge breath (try this so you will understand what I am describing) then they release the air with one loud force from their throat that is about 50% vocal component. These are the children that stare holes in you while they torture their throats with this parody. They usually perform this act in unison right after a SC has been offered a drink.

Sometimes I think about what my students will be like as adults. Their tiny personalities will change so much, and they will become independent and responsible (hopefully). However, after a day like today, during which I listened to fakers for eight hours, I can't help but envision a crew of sickly twenty-somethings. They will have a hardback copy of Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment tucked under their arm and they will be the ones who still hold their thermometer up to a lightbulb when their mom isn't looking.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sit quietly and observe

One of the many joys of teaching is an annual observation. This is a time when you stress about the balance in your lesson plans between interest and ease of learning. You want to teach your students something meaningful and exciting, but not something so far out that they get lost, and start playing "I Spy" with their neighbor.

Today was my day. I signed up for it yesterday. I like short periods of anxiety, and no time to plan. Then I know if I am a good teacher "on a whim" instead of "when I have planned for hours." The only variable is the children, and let me tell you, they are a HUGE VARIABLE. To bad I couldn't have been observed during naptime, or while the kids were at the playground.

Well, we got through the lesson. I had told the kids that the principal was there to see if they behaved well enough to go to kindergarten. Some of them were sucking their cheeks inside-out from sheer restraint. The rest of them had verbal diarrhea and I was just looking for an excuse to send them to the nurse. During my observation, I corrected about eight kids for not listening, and moved two names up as a disciplinary measure. I bet my principal thinks I am a Pre-K Nazi.

But the main thing is, I am done. No more observations this year, so I can relax for the next 46 school days. Maybe I should start planning for next year...

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Conspiracy Theory: I am not making this up

I have a few minor obsessions, most of which are tempered quite nicely by my Daily Dose. However, a few still get through. I have obsessions about foods (binge eating, without the purging) and I have obsessions about words (How many words can I make from the letters in this word? What does that say backwards? Is it a palindrome? How many words can I make from "palindrome"? Etc.)

My recent obsession has been cars with one working headlight.

Hypothesis: Most vehicles with only one working headlight are Chevrolet/GMC model vehicles. I am not making this up. Mostly Suburbans, Tahoes, Z71s, etc.

Daniel says that is true for me because a) I drive mostly during the day and b) those model vehicles come equipped with Daytime Running Lights, which probably burn out quicker than other lights.

Honestly, the reasoning doesn't matter. This is causing problems in my life. I am counting cars and keeping running tallies everywhere I go. I can barely function as a driver, especially when I see a vehicle that is NOT a C/GMC with a burned out headlight. I want to know WHY!

My reason for blogging this is that maybe someone else can help share the burden. I can only patrol the roads in Nacogdoches County. Perhaps if someone else can investigate their area, my mind will be eased.

So your homework: watch the cars on your drive to work and back. Keep tallies of your own. Report back to me. And if you drive a doggone C/GMC with DRL, unscrew the bulbs!

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Listen up blogger readers. You can't read without commenting. Just say "hey" or something. I get disappointed when I don't get comments. I thrive on feedback. So, choose one of the following emailish options:

1) comment, then forward my blogsite to 10 friends. if you do this, you will have good luck and get whatever you wish at midnight tonight. I PROMISE, IT'S TRUE!

2) comment and put something about Jesus in your post. if you are ashamed of Him, then do not do this.

3) TAG! you have just been tagged! Now you must comment!

4) comment, then press ALT-8 to see why the sky is blue. I PROMISE, IT'S TRUE!

5) comment, and your name will be added to a REAL petition that will allow working people to not have to pay taxes. if your comment is the 20th, please forward this to your lawmakers at whatacrock@law.com

6) think of a number between 6 and 9. multiply that by 9. subtract 7. do you get the number 12? NO? i told you it wouldn't be 12. now comment.

7) someone who loves you posted on this blog! show them you love them back by commenting! if you comment once, you are an okay friend. if you comment twice, you rock. if you comment more than once, your friendship is better than chocolate ice cream.

God is good!

Check out this recent post on Tracey's page - it will take your breath away.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

And the sky was filled with a bright light, and angels sang, and I heard a loud voice!

Okay, I am exaggerating again. But I do have something exciting to share.

My mother brought some hydrangeas over for Daniel and I to plant on one side of our house this afternoon. In case you didn't notice, it was a gorgeous day here in East Texas. We had already mowed the yard, and I had weeded a flowerbed. We dug holes for the bushes and planted them. I think they will look great! We were cleaning up around dusk, and I was examining my pitiful fingernails. I turned my hands over to look at my palms, and:

"Lo! The thumb of her left hand was tinted green! (Not the green of toothpaste or the green of neon, but a nice grassy shade.)"

I screamed hysterically that I had been waiting for this my whole life and showed my mortified husband my thumb. He was busy ducking behind the house in case the neighbors might witness this display.

Isn't that funny that God turned my thumb green? It just confirms that I am skilled in the area of gardening.

Let's not talk about the paint we used at school today. I am sure it was a message from the Lord.


I have written some heavy, depressing stuff lately, so I thought I would try for something a little lighter.

Last night I went to the grocery store to pick up two things. Chocolate pudding was not one of the two items, but I walked by an endcap and Hunts Snack Packs were 10 for $10, which is a bargain. I like bargains! I looked, but all I could find were fat-free varieties, butterscotch and vanilla. My bingey-hungry-pregnant-self decided I needed full-fat chocolate.

I went and checked out with my other groceries and asked the clerk for a rain check. She sent me to the service desk. The lady said they didn't do rainchecks, but I could come back later cause the sale would still be on for another week.

She must have seen the desperation (derangement) in my eyes because she called a manager, who happened to find a case of chocolate "in the back." The service desk lady was ready to check out the case of chocolate pudding to me. That is 24 packs of 4. 96 pudding packs.

My dilema was: do I buy all the puddings cause the guy went to the trouble to bring them to me? do I just buy a couple of packs? do I run out of the store and hope no one remembers me next time?

What do you think I did? What would you do?

Monday, March 07, 2005

To lie or not to lie

A friend and I were having a casual conversation a few weeks ago, and she happened to mention a weakness she has - lying. She told me that she cannot go a day without telling a lie. I was floored! I mean, she told me she was my friend! Was that a lie?

(Notice how my concern is self-centered.)

Since that talk, I have thought about telling lies. She didn't say she told a big whopper every day, she said she cannot stop telling small, white lies. She just has to. I have thought about that, and discovered (to my dismay!) that I AM A LIAR, TOO!

"No!" you think. "Not Amanda!" But wait. These are some lies that I told today. Just today, in a small amount of time.

1) Jason brought me a fistful of weeds from the playground. We have a rule about leaving plants outside, and he knows that rule. I told him he had to throw them away because they make me sneeze. NO THEY DON'T! I JUST DIDN'T WANT WEEDS ON MY DESK! (10:30am)

2) A person asked me if my soup was okay at lunch, and I said it was. BUT IT WASN'T! IT WAS GROSS! (11:15am)

3) I told someone that I would call my State Representative today about HB#2, which involves school schedules. I HAVE NO INTENTION OF DOING THAT! (2:30pm)

4) About twelve people asked how I was feeling, and I said I was doing great. NO I AM NOT! MY LOWER BACK HURTS! (all day long)

So, does this make me pathological? Can I stop lying? As an experiment, I am going to not lie tomorrow. AT ALL, as much as I can help it. Is that going to make me brutally honest or really, really whiney? Probably whiney, but we shall see...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Big Scam

This is not like those chain emails that you get! This is true because it happened to me! I have been pretty traumatized by a recent experience, but now I am past it enough that I can share it with you. Okay, I am WAY exaggerating, but it was a dumb mistake by yours-truly, so watch your comments.

We regularly get unsolicited phone calls. I am trained, so that when I answer the phone, if I hear a mechanical click and dead air, I immediately hang up before whoever has called me can locate my name on the computer screen and say "Mrs. Daniel Johnson?" or whatever.

About a month ago, we got this call from a place called Ark-La-Tex Water. The lady was super nice and asked me if I could answer a few questions about our water. I was feeling kind, so I did, and was off the phone in about one minute!

Woops. We weren't done.

They called back a couple of weeks later, and said because I answered questions about our water quality, I had won a free water evaluation in our home.

Well! I LIKE WINNING! I told them the guy could come on a Saturday, and they said he would take about 45 minutes.

Daniel was shooting laser beams at me when I got off the phone. The nature of his profession makes him very suspicious. It also makes him very private, and here is his wittle wife, opening his home for a stranger. I sweetly told Daniel that I would handle it.

Waterman came and said he needed both of us to participate. I made Daniel come in the kitchen and watch, and he had his laser eyes on again. Waterman started showing us stuff about our tap water. He ran some tests on it, and did some little trick things. It was interesting for about 15 minutes. But he stayed about two hours past the time it was interesting.

He wanted us to buy a Rainsoft water system. This is a home system that costs almost $8000, BUT WAIT! They have an easy finance option for only 19%! He was very pushy, and even got rude. Daniel had to escort him outside and lock him out.

Later, Daniel looked up Rainsoft complaints online and found oodles of dissatisfied customers. I am easily hoodwinked into helping other people. I buy magazines from college students in Walmart's parking lot. I give to random charities. Also, I want to have better water than my neighbors!

Because I have no sense, I can now add "answering the phone" to the list of things I am not allowed to do without supervision.

Friday, March 04, 2005

My dad

This afternoon I went to my parent's house, which is two miles away. My reason for going was to
a) visit with my grandma, who is in town from El Paso, and
b) take a nap since Daniel is doing loud work at my home.

Instead, my dad was home. He had taken off early on this Friday afternoon and had some work to do. He actually said "I am going to be outside doing some carpenter work, but it is probably too hard for a girl like you."

My whole life, he has teased me by saying that girls cannot do as much as boys. He knows it pushes my buttons, and it also motivates me to better myself. He is actually a really smart guy!

I jumped off the couch and went to help him in the garage. We are building a foot-tall extention on the top of the retaining wall in the backyard. (They have a crazy dog who continually jumps the wall, even though it is almost five feet tall.) I wore a toolbelt (he made sure it was adjusted so it wouldn't hurt the baby), safety glasses, and he let me drill lots of holes. To his credit, he only got frustrated once. I said "DAD! Let it out!" and he said "Amanda, you wouldn't be able to stand it if I did."

My dad loves me, and he is probably right. Since I was little, my world has revolved around what he thought and how he feels about me. Every accomplishment has been to make him proud. It kills me to think that he would be disappointed in me, or if he thought that I settled in my life.

If I can feel this way about a human, why do I struggle with pleasing God? Why am I not constantly seeking His approval? Why do I let myself settle spiritually? Shouldn't I have the same anxiety about not living up to God's standards?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Home, sweet home

It is not only good to be home, it is GREAT to be home!

We had a nice time at the freebeachhouse but it was rainy yesterday and all we did was sleep and watch things on TV that I usually hate, like American Idol (you think you can sing?? let me SHOW you some singin'!!!) and WifeSwap. I did get to see the ocean! There were no ducks, oily or not. Now that I think about it, there wasn't ANYTHING ALIVE THERE EXCEPT US. Hm...

Daniel and I recorded the final episode of NYPD Blue. We are going to watch it tonight. I am a junkie about this show. Mostly I am glad that Mark-Paul pulled himself out of the perpetual high school classroom and got a gig where he doesn't make comments to the camera. To bad it has all come to an end. This is one thing Daniel and I did together weekly without fail. The other thing we did weekly without fail was...

oh, nevermind.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Beee-yatch and random thoughts

Okay, I really just wanted to say that. We are going to the beach today! It is my winter break, so I am planning on taking it easy. It is also my second anniversary tomorrow, so I am also planning on appreciating my husband!

Mom came with me to the doctor this morning. I was kinda scared cause it took the nurse foooorrrrrreeeevvvvvveeeerrrr to find Henrietta's heartbeat. She was hiding, I guess.

For the second day in a row, I have eaten a Wendy's Jr. Deluxe Cheeseburger for lunch. Yeah. Second day.

It has all the vegetables on it, which is great. It has cheese, which is great. And the cold stuff is cold and the hot stuff is hot, which means they JUST made it, which is great. Plus, it is only 99 cents, which is great.

In order to go to the beee-yatch, I have got to pack and awaken my slumbering spouse!

Since I won't be blogging, check here for information on what to do with your balls while I am gone.